I finally felt ready last weekend to tear down the wall of sympathy cards that mounted in the corner of my dining room. The fortress was not as large as back in September, but still it was difficult to dismantle.
Maybe for strangely superstitious reasons, like how I’ve always been afraid to turn the calendar a day too soon. Maybe because of the way I waited for them to arrive; each sentiment on folded card stock was like a tiny soldier in my army, holding me up, reminding me to keep marching.
I feel myself paying attention to the details again. Like today I noticed Ben’s ankles peeking out from under his sweatpants, a sign that he’s in the midst of his typical spring growth spurt.
I even made my way back to the treadmill last week and took a weight class at the gym.
I haven’t thought about doctors or test results in a week, maybe longer.
A few people have commented that I “seem stronger” and “look like myself again.”
It’s even been several days since I had one of those phantom limb moments when for a second I think I’m still pregnant—like finding myself too carefully lifting Benjamin into the car, or starting to tuck my seat belt under my belly.
I’m laughing and cracking jokes. I’m complaining about mundane things.
This is how I track the days now. Not with “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” emails that tell me my baby is the size of a kumquat or a lime. Not in doctor’s appointments or ultrasounds. I’m no longer counting down to anything.
I feel life settling back to normal and I’m letting it happen. I’m crawling out of the foxhole. I’m trying to go with it, and–I admit– I’m doing better than expected. But I wonder when I’ll go from just looking like myself to really, truly feeling like myself again. I wonder if I’ll ever stop feeling that tugging at my shirt saying don’t forget all that’s happened…remember what could have been… and worst of all, what’s next?